Does hawking a pot of Shape Up Bust Firming Cream or Waist & Tummy Trim Gel qualify for “distinguished service in trade and industry” to the nation? Are bio-facials and bio-complex weight-loss therapies to be deemed cutting-edge innovations in biotechnology? The answer is a Big Fat No. So how is the blinged-out proprietress of Vandana Luthra’s Curls and Curves (VLCC) now a bonafide Padma Shrimati?
It has become a ritual on Republic Day for the past five decades for His Excellency, the President of India, to confer the Padma awards to extraordinary individuals for “exceptional and distinguished service of a high order”. And, over the years, it has become fair game to find the oddballs and freaks who have crashed the list—not because they are scummy and worthless, but because of the inappropriateness and improperness of their inclusion in the list.